Cycling

Lance's commission disbanded

2013-01-29 08:15
Lance Armstrong (File)

London - The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced on Monday it had disbanded the independent commission it had set up to investigate alleged involvement by the global governing body in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

The UCI said it was shutting down the commission, which only met in public for the first time on Friday, because both the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the United States Doping Agency (USADA) had refused to co-operate with its investigations and thus any report it produced would be dismissed "as not being complete or credible".

UCI president Pat McQuaid, who attended Friday's hearing in London, said they had been left with little choice but to disband the commission after WADA labelled it a "useless exercise".

"Over the weekend I spoke to John Fahey, president of WADA," McQuaid said in a statement on Monday.

"He confirmed WADA's willingness to help the UCI establish a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC), as well as saying that WADA had no confidence in the existing independent commission process...We have therefore decided to disband the independent commission with immediate effect."

McQuaid added WADA had concluded "the UCI was not allowing the commission to conduct a proper and independent investigation," and had, therefore, "decided not to take part and invest its limited resources into such a questionable and useless exercise".

It was an investigation by USADA that led to Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.

And it was comments in their "reasoned decision" regarding the UCI's alleged complicity in his drug-taking and the conduct of the American's US Postal Service team that led cycling chiefs to set up the independent commission.

An inaugural procedural hearing of the three-member commission chaired by Philip Otton, a former judge in England's Court of Appeal, and also including British Paralympic champion Tanni Grey-Thompson and Australian lawyer Malcolm Holmes, was suspended Friday until this Thursday.

Otton said he hoped the adjournment would allow all those involved to reach agreement on an amnesty, whereby witnesses could give evidence free of the fear of subsequent disciplinary action by the UCI.

However, UCI lawyer Ian Mill told the hearing the governing body could not offer an amnesty to cyclists who admitted doping offences as this would breach existing WADA rules.

Immediately after Friday's hearing, McQuaid insisted the UCI wanted to work with WADA, saying they could not conduct a TRC hearing without them.

But this is set to be a new process given that Thursday's commission hearing won't now take place.

"We do this with regret, but given the stance of WADA we did not see any other option," insisted Irishman McQuaid, UCI president since 2005, who said the commission's work would be shared with the TRC, which he hoped would be running later this year.

He added: "This is too important for rushed discussions, or hasty decisions.

"It is completely unrealistic to expect that we and WADA can sort through all the details of setting up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in just a couple of days, based on an arbitrary deadline set by the independent commission of Thursday."

He also said there were cost implications for the UCI, given WADA "contrary to earlier indications" had refused to contribute financially.

"While I am committed to a TRC, it needs to be a process which is in the best interests of our sport and our federation -- and which also does not bankrupt it," McQuaid said.

"I hope the lessons learned from the truth and reconciliation process will help in particular to educate young riders and to help eradicate doping in its entirety from cycling."

Read more on:    uci  |  lance armstrong  |  cycling
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Ulissi suspended again

2014-09-16 21:36

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!

Soon sending an LOL! or facepalm will be so much more fun!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Puppy goes crazy over iPad game
Printable solar panels will bring exciting new opportunities!
Now there’s a special lane for texting while walking
LOL! 7 brutally honest texts from parents
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.